Saunalahti yrittää petosta

symbiatch - 11.07.2013 13.38 - mobiili 

Pakko avautua nyt näköjään vielä asiasta. Olin Saunalahden asiakas todella pitkään (ainakin vuodesta 2004, ellen jo aiemminkin). Olin tyytyväinen palveluihin ja käytössä oli sellaisia palveluja, joita muilta ei saanut. Esimerkiksi multi-SIM ja rajaton Dataetu (kyllä, se alkuperäinen). Mutta sitten homma alkoi kusta.

Saunalahti ilmoitti, että kaikkiin liittymiin tulee pakollinen lisämaksu 1,90 €. Tällä saisi perusnettikäytön ja puhelut olisivat korkeintaan euron päivässä. Ja vaikka käytössä olisi jo kympin kuussa maksava datapalvelu, ei väliä. Lisämaksu tulee silti.

Laitoin kyselyä asiakaspalveluun, että mikäs tämän idea on, muuta kuin rahastus, ja tuleeko minulle nyt todellakin nämä lisämaksut kahteen liittymään. Vastaus oli "kyllä tulee ja sinulla näyttää olevan tollanen huono ja kallis Dataetu, kannattaa vaihtaa halvempaan 512k yhteyteen, mäpäs vaihdan sulle." Ennen kuin tätä viestiä olin lukenut, yhtäkkiä tulee tekstiviesti, jossa sanotaan uuden palvelun tulevan käyttöön myöhemmin ja kiitos tilauksesta. Kävin lukemassa aspan viestin ja laitoin välittömästä vastauksen, että en todellakaan halua hitaampaa yhteyttä, mitähittoa?!?

Aspahenkilö selitti, että Dataetu on hitaampi ja ei se voi olla mitenkään rajaton jne jne jne. Vaikka sanoin, että juuri sillä hetkellä siirsin 3G-verkossa paljon yli 512k, ei väliä.

Tämän lisäksi toki kun tämä "parempi" datapaketti tuli käyttöön, loppui kännystä kokonaan datankäyttö. Ei toiminut ollenkaan, ennen kuin valitin taas aspaan. Ja kielsin tekemästä mitään muutoksia enää, liittymät siirtyisivät pois heti kun vain voi.

Sain tietää vielä tuttavaltani, joka on Elisalla töissä, että liittymätiedoissani lukee ihan selvästi Dataedun nopeus ja rajattomuus, ettei aspahenkilön olisi pitänyt mitenkään kuvitella väärin. Pitkän väännön jälkeen sain anteeksipyynnön toiselta henkilöltä ja 20 euroa rahaa Saunalahden laskuihin. Paljon auttaa, kun laskuja ei enää tulisi kuitenkaan...

No, liittymät siirtyivät ja oletin homman olevan siinä. Huomasin kuitenkin, että rahalla ostetut Nettiviestit olivat myös kadonneet. Tämä kuulemma on ihan normaalia, ne ovat liittymään liittyviä ja kun liittymä katoaa, katoavat myös viestit. Ei hyvitetä. Kiittimoi.

Onneksi ei paljoa rahaa siinä hukkunut, mutta tästäkin olisi voinut tiedottaa paremmin. En tiennyt niiden liittyvän mitenkään liittymään, varsinkin kun olivat käytettävissä vielä ainakin jonkin aikaa sen jälkeen kun liittymät olivat siirtyneet...

Mutta se paras veto sitten: kolme kuukautta liittymien siirron jälkeen Saunalahti lähestyy laskulla. Yhdestä liittymästä pitäisi maksaa kuukausimaksuja huhtikuusta heinäkuun loppuun. Ja paperilaskusta ylimääräistä, kiitoksia. Jännä juttu, että ilmaisella kuukausimaksulla aina ollut liittymä on huhtikuussa toiselle operaattorille siirtyessään maksullinen ja Saunalahdelle pitäisi maksaa siitä, että käytän toisen operaattorin liittymää?

Kävin vielä tarkistamassa Oma Saunalahti -palvelusta tilanteen ja minulla ei ole yhtäkään kännykkäliittymää sopimuksissa. Silti yrittävät laskuttaa niistä.

Laskun mukana tuli myös kolmesivuinen erittely vuodesta 2004 alkaen. Joka kuukausi 0,00 euroa, paitsi nuo neljä kuukautta, jolloin liittymä ei edes ole Saunalahdella.

Eli kävikö Elisat Saunalahdelle, vai mitä? Aiemminhan olen jo kertonut, miten Elisa yritti kiristää jatkamaan heidän palvelinsalissaan nostamalla hinnat moninkertaisiksi, pakottamalla vähintään vuoden sopimuksiin ja tästä tiedotettiin noin kuukausi ennen kuin uusi sopimus olisi tullut voimaan. Ja kun siirsin palvelut muualle, tuli yllättäen sieltäkin laskua vielä perässä.

Oli kiva tuntea, Saunalahti, nyt en voi enää edes kenellekään kertoa siitä melkein vuosikymmenestä kun palvelut toimivat loistavasti. Se aika ei selvästikään enää palaa.


Päivitys 12.7.

Saunalahden asiakaspalvelusta vastattiin. Lukematta näköjään viestiäni. Nimittäin sanovat mm näin:

Uudistuksesta on lähetetty tiedote sinulle kirjeitse 6.2.2013, sekä uudistuksesta on myös tiedotettu internet sivuillamme. Mikäli liittymälläsi ei ole käyttöä niin voit aina irtisanoa liittymäsi pois. Irtisanominen onnistuu vastaamalla tähän viestiin ja tällöin irtisanominen tapahtuisi 31.7.2013.

Eli siis he sanovat, että voin irtisanoa liittymän, jota ei ole olemassakaan, sitten lopettavat laskuttamisen. Henkilö ei viitsinyt siis katsoa sopimuksista, että yhtään liittymää ei ole, ei viitsinyt lukea viestiäni, jossa sanoin mm "Sain juuri laskun puhelinliittymästä, joka on siirretty toiselle operaattorille jo aikaa sitten". Lienee vaikeaa nyt ymmärtää mistä on kyse.

Sitten odotetaan seuraavaa yhteydenottoa. En suosittele kyllä missään nimessä tosiaan Saunalahtea tai Elisaa kenellekään näiden kokemusten myötä.

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Nokia's Premium Developer

symbiatch - 25.11.2012 09.56 - mobiili 

Problems, Problems...

On October 31st I got an email from Nokia about this new and shiny Premium Developer program. I also received an email stating that "You will receive an email soon with a code that entitles you to a free year’s membership in the Nokia Premium Developer Program." Well, it's almost a month later and I've yet to receive it. And what I've heard, others have received theirs.

So I emailed them two weeks after this asking when I'd get the token. No reply still. Nothing.

I tweeted to @nokiadeveloper about this, they said they'll send the word that someone will contact me. Nothing after a week.

So is this how things are handled or is it just me that's receiving the silent treatment? It's not the first cockup from Nokia with me. Last time I was in the developer program and was supposed to get a Lumia 800. When I couldn't order it and asked what's going on, they said "oops, for some reason your membership had expired and naturally you couldn't do anything, we fixed it, sorry." That was not nice, but they fixed it when I contacted them at least.

The Actual Program

The actual Premium Developer program boasts that with $99 per year you'll get up to €1,500 in value! Sounds great, right? But hey, what will you get? Sorry to say that most of that "value" is one service and if you don't need Buddy's notification service (I kinda don't see the point since you can send notifications yourself, but hey, to each their own), the maximum value is $300. Still not bad, right? The rest is two Nokia support cases, Telerik controls and a year of Microsoft membership.

So I think the point here is that they're trying to make people think about just the money. $1,500 is a lot, but who will actually receive that? Who will send million requests per month through Buddy? Not that many.

But I'm not saying it's a bad thing to buy: $99 is the Microsoft membership fee. With $99 Nokia fee you get that and more. So in any case you're not losing money. And I'm sure that's how they thought about it.

So, go on, get the membership. At least you're getting $99 worth of stuff with the $99, so it's not bad. But for the $1,500... Well, I'd like to hear from someone that thinks they'll actually use those notification API calls.

(Sorry, Nokia, I just can't do positive publishings about your stuff when you don't give me anything positive to say. But I'm positive about Lumia 920, haven't had a chance to test it out though, so can't write about it.)

Kommentoi

Windows Phone 8 Emulator, VMware, SLAT...

symbiatch - 07.11.2012 20.24 - IT-ala mobiili ohjelmointi 

Since Microsoft released the Windows Phone 8 SDK, I've had some problems. First, the emulator requires Hyper-V and SLAT support, which is not available on my trusty old Latitude D830. And I'm sure there are lots of people that don't have the newest generation CPUs in their machines. That means they can't test their apps on the emulator. Naturally on device works, but that's not always the best way.

Another problem was pointed out by a friend: there are lots of developers that have done apps for iOS and might want to port those to WP8. They can't just start Windows on Parallels and use the emulator there. VMware supports SLAT virtualization (at least on Windows, not sure about OS X), so it should be possible to run Windows 8 under VMware and the emulator would work.

Personally I run VMware virtual machines on my desktop and if I install the Hyper-V role, I can't run VMware. This is a problem. So I either have to reboot every time I want to run the emulator or install another Windows 8 in a virtual machine and run the emulator there. Both are cumbersome.

I kinda understand why Microsoft made it this way. They have a strong virtualization platform and as we've seen with iOS and Symbian emulators, it's not the same running the app compiled to x86 and on top of another OS. There are problems that are not on the device or that don't appear on the emulator. It's much better to run the actual ROM image that is on the device. But to require SLAT and disallow other virtualization at the same time is not nice.

Hoping MS could fix this problem, but I think it might not happen. I've been thinking about getting a new laptop for some time and this is one more reason for it. But since my old machine works so well and the only thing I'm needing is basically more memory, I haven't done it yet. Maybe it's time.

It'd help if Nokia would send a Lumia 920 and Microsoft would send a Surface... ;)

Kommentoi

Applen uusi hieno kartta

symbiatch - 19.09.2012 19.49 - mobiili 

Apple uudisti iOS6:ssa karttapalvelunsa. Sitä on hehkutettu kovasti, mutta eipä se Suomessa ainakaan vakuuta...

Alunperin hain Unioninkatu 48:aa, mutta kuvakaappaukseen vahingossa otin 45:n. Tilanne silti sama.

Luulin tietäväni missä tuo paikka on, mutta tarkistaessani (silloin betalla) jouduin miettimään olenko väärässä sittenkin. Apple sanoo tuon olevan "arviolta" siis tuolla Senaatintorin läheisyydessä. Oikeasti osoite on Pitkänsillan vieressä, sellaiset kymmenisen korttelia pielessä.

Tokihan tällaista voi sattua, jos katu on uusi tai siitä ei ole kauheasti tietoja. Mutta Unioninkatu on kuitenkin ollut ihan muutaman vuoden Helsingissä, ja kyse on kuitenkin Helsingistä. Miten tällainen moka on päässyt sattumaan? Kenellä ei ole tiedoissaan Unioninkadun osoitteita?

En heti löytänyt muita puutteellisia katuja, mutta toki niitä voi olla.

Muutenkin tuo Applen kartan ulkoasu on hyvin karu. Jotain satunnaisia puistoalueita vihreällä, muuten yksiväristä. Kai se siitä ehkä joskus muuttuu ja jossain päin maailmaa sisältää enemmän tietoa...

Päivitys: Unohtui ihan kertoa sekin, että vaikkapa Porissa haettaessa rautatieasemaa, löytyvät lähimmät Tampereelta ja Turusta. Ei ehkä ihan mitä halutaan. Joissain paikoissa on uutisoitu näitä "Helsingissä kun hakee Oulua löytyy vain firmoja, ei kaupunkia", mutta se on toisaalta ymmärrettävää: kyseessä on lähihaku. Sen sijaan jos haen reitin ja kirjoitan Oulu, tulee toisena Oulu, Finland ja reitti menee juuri minne pitääkin. Että valitus on vähän turhaa...

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Got My Lumia 800

symbiatch - 28.12.2011 09.01 - mobiili 

I just got my Lumia 800 this morning. Been testing it a bit. I already have LG's Optimus 7 so the Windows Phone is nothing new to me.

First thing I noticed is that you can't turn the haptic feedback off anywhere. I really dislike it. It's annoying. I understand that some people might not realize if they've pressed one of the three buttons or not since they're also capasitive (in the Optimus they're physical buttons), but I don't care about them. I want it off. Right now.

The design of the phone is very nice (it should be almost the same as N9, right? I've never even touched an N9, that's also the reason why I haven't said anything about it). The size is nice and it feels ok. I personally like the camera being in the middle of the back panel. Not so easy to block it with fingers (with the iPhone I'm always sticking my fingers where they shouldn't be). And it looks better.

First time installation is easy, but I think the phone said that there would be some info about making a Nokia account but there wasn't. Which is good. I don't need one and I don't want one. Why would I?

The installation wanted to have my Live ID without asking for wifi info. And I didn't have a SIM installed. So naturally it couldn't validate it. This is kind of a flaw, even though most people will have SIMs installed. But if they have no data plans or for some other reasons would like to use wifi at this point?

Oh, and I tested Nokia Craps, I mean Nokia Drive. Map download was fast, installation slooow. 3D models of "landmarks"? Yeah, ok, kinda ok. But some models are just too ugly to watch. And there is no Musiikkitalo in Helsinki? No extension to the central railway station? How old are these maps? Not that I'd expect much, since the Nokia Maps usually (even in the greater Helsinki area) might route through locked snow dumps etc. But it was still better than Google Craps.

But the UI seems to have some problems. On startup there are three big buttons on the bottom. One allows to change 2D/3D etc and has a selection Settings that has voice selection and other things. But later on there is just a settings button, that goes to some other settings screen where there is no voice selection etc. And I at least don't know how to get those buttons back! So I can't even tell it to route me to somewhere!

Why oh why they clearly made the UI themselves and didn't ask Microsoft to do it. They would've made it right and not like this!

Also, the seconds Settings has four options: 2D/3D, Map Colours (day/night), Manage maps and Landmarks. All except Manage maps are toggle and return immediately to the map view. So if I want to change more than one, I'll have to flip-flop to settings and back many times. Oh well...

So, a nice device, a nice OS, but Nokia things seem to be, basically, crap.

Oh, right. If I tap the map, it goes to full screen (with a stupid white-wash-laggy-transition). To get back, I have to press back button. Yeah, kinda logical, but mostly not. I'd expect it to go back by also tapping on the map. Other things toggle, why not this one?

Kommentoi

Apple Once Again Craps on Developers

symbiatch - 06.12.2011 08.59 - mobiili ohjelmointi 

CoreGraphics Log Jam

A good (even old, but still valid) point on what I'm currently angry about. Apple doesn't want to tell the developers what's wrong! In the case of the article, at least now the debugger shows the errors in the debug console, but it doesn't really help.

For example: I load a PNG file from the net and try to use its data (CGContextDrawImage). I get the file, I get the raw data and also sometimes the data is broken. So I get an error in the console. Gee whiz, that's nice. I, as a developer, get an error. But the application DOES NOT! So I can't do anything about it since I don't know the data is broken! I have searched all around and there are always these questions "I get this and that error, how do I check the error" and all answers tell the developer that his values are wrong and they have to check them themselves, or use hardcoded things.

Who in their right mind thought that it would be ok to build a whole graphics API without error reporting to the application itself? Some methods do at least return NULL when something's wrong, but that doesn't help much. Especially when I'm using a function that will decode PNG, determine it's broken and still return garbled data without any error messages to the application!

So, am I just supposed to decode the PNG myself/via other functions, determine it's not broken and then decode it via Quartz 2D again? Sure. Nice. Very fast and convenient on a mobile device.

Sheesh. I thought I'd seen everything Apple has to offer. But I'm still just beginning... Apple, get a grip! We aren't all some fanbois that will take anything from you!

Kommentoi

ATK to the rescue!

stix - 30.11.2011 00.54 - mobiili 

Lääpälläni tabletin Thinking Space sovellukseen ja Swype softaan \o/

Kommentoi

Nokia Calling All Copiers?

symbiatch - 26.08.2011 12.20 - mobiili 

Nokia had this Calling All Innovators competition. I thought that they wanted some innovative applications to be submitted. When checking at the results, it seems that this was quite a wrong assumption.

They have given $150k for a unit converter app. A simple unit converter. One that I or any other developer with even some experience could make in a couple of hours. Without any innovation. Really, Nokia?

This shows one of two things, or both: there are no innovative applications for Business and Finance, or people don't care about Nokia's platform.

And you're free to call me jealous. I'm not. I'm just kicking myself because I thought they actually wanted something new, innovative and noteworthy and I didn't have the time to start doing something like that for Symbian. I'm still not that fluent in Qt and plain Symbian coding... ugh.

So I probably should've put mIRGGI in there. It would surely have won something. Damn.

I'm not saying everything there is useless or not innovative. The Pocket Parrot seems interesting (stupid Nokia doesn't give out any bigger screenshots, explanations or anything else than what Ovi Store has!) and probably has value. But many others are the same simple stuff.

So, maybe this is a hint that I should start copying those apps and wait for Nokia to start Calling All Innovators for Windows Phone and win everything!

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What's New in Mango?

symbiatch - 26.05.2011 15.59 - mobiili ohjelmointi 

Hardware

Mango supports a gyroscope, but it is optional. The reason for this is that all current phones will support Mango, but they don't have gyros. All new devices should have a gyro. Also support for another SoC was added. Otherwise the requirements are the same as they were for 7.0

In the API front there are new HW APIs: access to camera, motion sensor, compass and gyro.

The camera can be accessed via two APIs: PhotoCamera API supports HQ photos, flash/focus modes etc. Webcam API allows recording video and audio. The former works with a pull model and the latter with a push model.

Compass is available on some pre-Mango phones, but not all. It works if it works, like usual. With my iPhone and Google Maps I usually get an error that's like 30 degrees. So it's useless. I probably should use it only in some deep forest?

Motion Sensor is a virtual sensor that combines gyro, compass and accelerometer. It's more accurate, faster in response and has low drift. it can also disambiguate motion types and has fall-back if there is no gyro in the device. Microsoft recommends using Motion Sensor when available. If you don't have a compass, the API does not work and you should use accelerometer directly.

The OS checks if calibration is needed, the application should show a UI for it. There is a reference implementation that can be copy&pasted directly.

Software

Mango runs Silverlight 4. No breaking changes for apps that work with 7.0. Implicit styles, RichTextBox, ViewBox, more touch events (tap, double tap). If you recompile the app for Mango, there are some changes that have to be taken into account, like WebClient (returns in the thread it was called in, not in UI thread) and background running.

Sockets, Clipboard, IME, IE9 Browser, VideoBrush.

Performance: Gen GC means much faster garbage collecting and less lag, Input Thread means better touch input since it's different from the UI thread, Working set, Profiler tool is available with the SDK. Don't profile the emulator, it's naturally useless. And you can't profile 7.0 apps.

Sockets support TCP, UDP with uni/multicast on wifi. Connection manager control overrides and/or sets preferences e.g. if you always need to communicate through wifi. WebClient allows full HTTP header access and returns in the originating thread and not the UI thread.

XNA inside Silverlight App. Integration at the page level, XNA takes over the rendering. Integration at element level, Silverlight elements in XNA pipeline via UIElementRenderer. Input is shared. So now you can do XNA-3D in your Silverlight app or do your XNA game UIs with Silverlight.

Local database! SQL Compact Edition. LINQ to SQL to query, filter, sort. Object model for CRUD. Application level access, so it's sandboxed from other applications. Background agents can access the database. And there's a DatabaseSchemaUpdater APIs for upgrades since there is no direct SQL access.

Application Model

Fast Application Resume. Apps are not thrown out of memory immediately, at most five apps are held in memory and only "tombstoned" if memory is low etc. So now switching apps is faster. And old apps will continue working, no problem.

Multi-tasking is available, but Microsoft wants to make sure the power usage is minimal and user experience is good. This is why there is no "real" multi-tasking.

The options are: bg transfer service, bg audio, bg agents (periodic and on idle), alarms and reminders.

Using BG audio you have to start playing the sound from a foreground application. A bg app cannot start play but can continue playing. Application will be shut down, but a separate agent will continue running and provide the sound and handle next/prev etc.

BG audio app types: URL PlayList and Stream Source. Former just tells which URLs to play, the latter will provide audio buffers and can have custom decryption/decompression.

BG agents are periodic or on idle. They are initialized in foreground but run on background. They persist across reboots! User controls through control panel and there can be at maximum 18 running periodic agents. Agent runs for up to 14 days but it can be renewed. This is just because if you don't run the application in two weeks, you probably won't even be using it. You can set a smaller run time limit if you want to. The timer is reset every time the app is run.

Periodic agent runs around every 30 minutes and they get around 15 seconds of time. It must have less than 6MB of memory and less than 10% CPU (limits subject to change before RTM).

On Idle agents run when on external power and non-cell network. They can run for 10 minutes and can use more CPU but less than 6MB of memory.

BG agent functionality allowed: tiles, toast, location, network, R/W isolated storage, sockets, most framework APIs.

BG agent functionality disallowed: display UI, XNA, microphone, camera, sensors, play audio (only BG audio APIs).

Agents continue running until the agent itself aborts it, the time limit (default 14 days) is met or the user removes it via the control panel. If you try to add a bg agent and there are already 18 running, there is an exception. The user must remove some agent to allow your app to create one.

One application can have only one idle agent, one bg agent and one bg audio handler. The agents can run whatever tasks they like, but there can only be one of each.

Notifications

Time-based on-phone notifications. Supports alerts and reminders, persist across reboots and adheres to user settings. Alarms are modal, snooze/dismiss, sound customization, no app invocation, no stacking. Reminders have rich information, integrate with other reminders, snooze/dismiss, launches app if clicked.

Background Transfer Service

Start transfer in foreground, complete in background, even if app is closed. Queue persists across reboots and has a limit of 5. Single service for all applications, FIFO. Upload limit around 4MB, downloading more than 20MB only when using wifi. The files are transferred to isolated storage. The 5 file limit is per application, so other apps can download even if your app has its queue full. The FIFO system is global.

Tiles

Local tile APIs have full control of ALL properties. You can update the tile information from your app or background agent and don't have to use push notifications etc.

You can also create multiple tiles per application. The tiles can deep link, which means you can add parameters to the tiles so that they start the application in some other place than the front page.

Push Notification

No API changes, but lots of enhancemens on the reliability, efficiency and performance. Better radio usage, faster state machine, smarter queuing etc. Nothing for the developer itself.

The user can have 30 applications using push notifications at one time now, previously the limit was 15.

Extras

This is one of the great things. You can integrate Bing Search results with your app. There are four item types: movies, places, events and products. The search will show a card for the item and any application can register itself as being able to handle this information. You can e.g. tell the system that you can handle movies and the user can start your application to e.g. buy the movie online directly from the search results.

You can read contacts and calendar entries, but you can't write data. You can start a launcher that saves data, but that requires user interaction.

What Now?

7.0 apps will run nicely with Mango. But if you really want to get the nice features, target Mango already and be ready. Especially the fast task switching is nice for any application.

Kommentoi

Windows Phone Develioer Day 2011

symbiatch - 26.05.2011 08.59 - mobiili ohjelmointi 

Today I'm attending Microsoft's Windows Phone Developer Day in Helsinki. Should be interesting, I haven't done much WP development. And it's nice to see something about the Mango. Naturally the Mango part is the last so that people won't just come to see that and leave. But who would do that anyway...

650 people were allowed to attend and they're saying it's going to be packed. There are already lots of people here, more still pouring in...

Keynote speaker is Brandon Watson, the rest of the day is hosted by Jaime Rodriquez. Sessions include Designing for Windows Phone, Introduction to Silverlight and Tools, Application Development for Windows Phone, Integrating with Windows Phone Hardware and the Services, What's new in Mango.

Brandon's Keynote

I'll write stuff about Brandon's keynote here, other sessions are probably handled in other posts if there's interesting stuff to talk about.

He says that this is the first WP Dev conf after the announcement of Mango. So they really seem to care about Finland ;)

In 7 months Microsoft has gotten 1.6 million tools downloads, 18k apps in WP7 Marketplace, 42k registered developers... Not bad, really.

Oh, and people can really stop complaining: multitasking, raw camera access, socket access etc are in Mango. So don't worry. Also Brandon said that apps can continue to work in the background. So maybe the multitasking will be more than just saving the app state, as it mostly is in iPhone.

Bing and Things

Nice! If you search for example a movie, you'll get a product card with information about the movie. You can find information, schedules etc. But the most interesting thing is App Connect. There is a pane where you have direct links to applications that have informed the phone that they can handle e.g. movie cards. The user has a direct link to the application. Not seen anywhere else, guys.

Oh, what about if your app can handle it but is not installed? No worries, it is still shown in the list! So people can install your app directly from search if it looks like an interesting app for e.g. movies. This is cool!

Distribution

There is also a beta distribution option, 100 users, app has to be free, no update etc. Private distribution serves also paid apps, but the app is not publicly visible in the marketplace. And then there's the public marketplace. This is also a very good enhancement.

App Hub

New dashboard, W-8 forms, clear notifications etc. If your app is rejected, you get a clear PDF report stating what the problems were. This is one thing that could be a lot better than Apple's. I've gotten stupid short messages from them and twice they've even said "the app just doesn't work" while it clearly works and on a resubmit they suddenly fot it to work. This should not happen, ever!

Web and IE9

There is background audio available. And it's also available with web browser! You can have an HTML5 app that plays music, you can put it into background, lock the phone, the phone play/pause keys work with it etc etc. Nice!

CSS transformations shown, 23 FPS. GPU is used in browser too.

Boston.com loading. Flash logo shown, but they naturally support HTML5 and videos can be watched without Flash bloat. The web browser seems fast and very smooth, even with a big page like this.

Naturally the browser supports geolocation.

Oh, all this was shown on an actual device via camera, no emulators or other stuff.

XNA + Silverlight

Previously with XNA you couldn't make UIs easily. You couldn't use Silverlight on XNA or XNA on Silverlight. Now you can. You can overlay Silverlight on XNA and make UIs that control the XNA game. This will make localization so much easier since you don't have to have lots of resources for different languages.

Also, you can have controls on top of camera feed with raw camera access.

Sensors

You have raw access to compass and gyro. There is a lot of math done for us so you don't have to care about true north/magnetic north etc. It's done for you. I'm not sure if it's a problem with other platforms, haven't used the compasses.

Sockets, Database etc

No surprise here. Most requested features: sockets and local database access. They're here. As requested. You're welcome.

You have access to contacts and calendar, you have directions selector... With single lines of code.

Multitasking

Fast app resume is there, as with iPhone etc. But what about real multitasking? There are background tasks that allow the app to use some time to do their stuff. At the moment it's about 15 seconds that the app is allowed at a time. It's also inferred that the apps can continue running in the background even after reboot. This would be very nice indeed!

Live tiles updating, battery friendly scheduler, background alerts. You can have multiple tiles for one app that go into different parts of the application.

I hope the live tiles are really battery friendly (Brandon says they really are), at least with Symbian they seem to be really power hungry.

Live Agents

You can pin a part of the application into the home screen. A demo is shown that shows a store selling hardware. You pin an Xbox product info to the main screen, it'll show you e.g. how far you're from the nearest retailer. Click on it and you'll get to the product info in the app. Not the main screen.

Dev Tools

Beta tools available now. Are beta quality, but you can build real apps with them. You can target Windows Phone 7.0 or 7.1 (numbers might change, the latter anyway being Mango).

Demo about a simple app that shows an image that has a PlaneProjection. Reference to sensors API. Create an Accelerometer. Add a delegate. Start the accelerometer. In the delegate change the plane projection with the values gotten from the accel. And the image rotates with the phone. Simple.

Oh, and in the devtools you can now simulate sensor data, especially the accelerometer. You can create XML data for the motions and load them etc. Easy testing with this, for sure!

Naturally you can also simulate GPS data. When will Apple bother to make this possible? With (at least) Qt it's possible on Symbian too.

Q&A

There is no ambiguity here: every single handset that has WP7 will have Mango available to it. Free of charge.

No Silverlight support in the browser itself at the moment.

Any new stuff in the enterprise management etc? There are some announcements from TechEd, but the enterprise stuff probably isn't as great as it should be, but things are getting better.

Full forward compatibility from 7.0 to Mango. No breaking things.

What about NFC? It's not available now. It's requested, but nothing for Mango. Maybe later.

When will the integration with Ovi Maps/Store etc coming? When the first Nokia phone comes out.

Can you sell apps outside the marketplace? No. Certified app marketplace is important. They are figuring out how to allow for homebrew stuff, but there are security problems. I understand this, but I do want some kind of homebrew stuff to be possible.

When will devs get Mango devices? If you are a developer with a device from Microsoft, it'll come some time in the future. If you buy a WP7 device now, there is no clear release date right now.

Who will have the first Mango devicea available? Anyone who happens to be the first.

Custom shaders in XNA? Much requested, a challenge with the programming model. Looking hard to enable it, but not available right now.

Ruggedized devices running WP7? No information about those, handset maker stuff.

What are the restrictions for developers? There are guidelines, you can download them from the marketplace site.

Operator billing is supported and with Nokia it's even better. People are five times more likely to buy when they have operator billing.

No native code support. None. Sorry. C# is to be used. "That's sad" Brandon: "It's not sad, it's horrible!" So yes, Microsoft would also like to have it, but it'll take time and they do have deadlines.

Kommentoi

Me and Qt Quick / QML

symbiatch - 19.03.2011 14.20 - mobiili ohjelmointi 

Oh, just wanted to let you know something: I kinda like Qt Quick / QML. It's quite nifty for UIs (naturally since it's copying WPF's XAML ;). It didn't take that long to get into the basic notation, get lists running, some animations etc. Pretty good.

I still have a problem with Qt Creator (in addition to the one I already wrote about). I'm not used to it. It doesn't function like I'm used to. See what I did there? I'm not blaming the IDE, it doesn't have to be exactly like Visual Studio. But it would help ;)

What I don't like is that there are no tabs in the editor. There is a listbox that shows the opened files. There's also a subwindow that shows them. Not the way I like it.

Also I don't like the find functionality. Ctrl-F shows it, it finds stuff, but when I press Esc, it still stays on the screen. And the found words are highlighted. I don't want that. I have to close it every time I use it :(

Also: a kingdom for automatic generation of property methods (AGGGGH!) and why can't I use QList with ListView? All I get is errors about not finding the properties if I don't use QList. And I want to use real types!

I would be happiest with Visual Studio. I had the add-in version 1.1.7. It shows up in VS 2008 and 2010 that I have installed. It kinda works in 2008 but not in 2010. It loads the .pro file and makes a project out of it in 2008, but in 2010 it can't. The project file version is off. Grh. Also in 2008 QML is nowhere to be found. And it doesn't seem to support anything else than desktop. Grhfmggh.

Oh, 1.1.8 is available. Let's install that. Or rather, uninstall the previous one, then install this one. They're still using the crappy Nullsoft installer and not MSI packages. Oh you poor devil children :P

Ok, 1.1.8 won't work either. Why does it say it supports 2010 if it clearly doesn't? Or does it allow creating new projects, just not converting .pros? Gah. 2008 time again...

In 2008 it just gave an error. The system cannot find the file specified. Care to elaborate on which file? No. I don't want to. Naturally. To the command line...

Visual Studio 2010 command line. Ran the command (which the add-in in 2008 kindly did show me), got warnings about Unknown version (160) of MSVC detected for .vcproj. Unknown? You said this add-in was for 2010?

Visual Studio 2008 command line. No errors, warnings about deprecated unescaped backslashes (it's always nice when Nokia ships things that generate warnings). But I got the .vcproj file. Still no QML files in the project, so clearly it doesn't support it. Build and all I get is ERROR PRJ0019: A tool returned an error code from "RCC Project.qrc". Care to elaborate on what error code and which tool? No. I don't want to.

What this means is that by "upgrading" to VS add-in 1.1.8 I lost the ability to even import .pro files. It worked in 1.1.7 a few minutes ago. Not anymore. Oh yeah, I've got the source, I could fix it. But it's not my place to fix it.

So, it's back to Qt Creator. Clearly the Visual Studio add-in is there just to allow people to do something, but not to allow people to actually develop stuff with it. At least if you want to use QML or target mobile devices. That's nice, Nokia. Very nice. Goes so well together with your decision previously to can Carbide.vs, which was the only usable IDE for Symbian development in my book. Carbide.c++ never got to the stage where it was really usable, mainly because of Eclipse.

Disclaimer: yes, I do know that Trolltech did the VS add-ins and it's not Nokia's fault entirely. But hey, they could've at least told the Qt developers that it would be nice if people could actually use QML in Visual Studio (without manual work) and target mobile devices. Even if it means manually making SIS files etc, but just let me test stuff in the simulator...

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Qt Creator is Broken, Horribly

symbiatch - 19.03.2011 09.51 - mobiili ohjelmointi 

Better to write a separate story about this problem I ran into. It's a big one, really. It might not affect that many people, but it did me. And it's a possibility for a disaster.

As many people know, the Symbian SDK is still in the dark ages. It can't handle spaces in path names. Stupid. And since I'm not an idiot, I don't want to have all my projects in some C:\mystuff. I want to have them where they belong and that is under my profile directory. Which, of course, has spaces in the path.

Tried to compile a Qt app. Didn't work, the spaces. Ok. Copied the project to c:\nokiaisstupid\project\ (not really, but I'm pissed off right now). Compiled, it works. Nice.

Opened a QML file from the Qt Creator. Edited it. Ran in the simulator. Nothing changed. What the heck? Changed something else. Nothing. Strange.

Changed the original file. Changes were visible. Umm, what? Qt Creator opens files from the new location, but builds them from the old! That's nice. And no, clean all doesn't fix it.

Let's remove the original file altogether. Ran just fine. Edited the new file. Still uses the old file. Which doesn't even exist anymore! So it caches stuff somewhere like an idiot?

Clean all. Rebuild all. Still using the old version. Which still doesn't exist.

Search all files in the project directory for the old path. Not found. Search all files in the project directory for main.qml. All point to the new path.

Close the simulator. Close Qt Creator. Still the old version!

So, where the hell is this old version cached? Why does Qt Creator still use it, even though the path is not in the project files, the file doesn't exist etc?

Oh well, let's build a deployment SIS for the device. Maybe it'll notice that something's missing then. Nope! 329 warnings from the Qt SDK itself, none from my code. No errors. SIS created.

Install SIS on device. Oh, right. I can't install the smart installer version, since it doesn't seem to work on E7. Let's send the stupid installer version then. Wow! It uses the new version. As it should.

So, I'm stuck in a situation where Qt Creator doesn't realize that it should use the new file. It keeps its old version somewhere deep inside the simulator and doesn't give up on it.

How about it, Nokia? A quick fix for this in order? Or should I just never create projects in one place and then move them? And recreate the whole project that's currently not working?

The root cause for all this is the stupidity that is simulator work: there is a separate build folder for simulator stuff. Which has a separate makefile. And the build directory is per user. And the path stayed the same. And the makefile has a relative path (as it should). So it just kept on copying the wrong files.

So the fix as I see it: don't use any stupid separate folder for the simulator! Everything I do on a project X should be either inside the project X's folder or somewhere in simulator's/Qt Creator's folder structure. No folders should be created anywhere else. It's just stupid. Oh, right. You can't do that. Since Qmake does not support build directories below the source directory. Cool. But it still builds this one quite nicely without problems when I put it under the source folder. Maybe I'm just lucky.

Or at least use relative paths or give an error message. Yes, there is a warning, but it doesn't say why or what things will be caused by not fixing paths by hand.

So there. I'm sure this will go under "a minor thing that nobody notices since they'll never move files around."

Recap: when Qt Creator creates makefiles for building, please use absolute paths. Also, please use a folder under ProgramData or some other reasonable place. Don't clutter my project folder with Project-build-desktop, Project-build-Symbian, Project-build-maemo etc. They're not my projects. They're just build results. Which are NOT laid out like this in any other IDE that I know of.

Please? Pretty please?

Kommentoi

Qt 4.7.2, E7 and Stuff

symbiatch - 18.03.2011 23.52 - mobiili ohjelmointi 

Now it's naturally time to try to get my Qt Quick application into the E7 for testing. Updated Qt to 4.7.2 (it's nice that it's only some gigabytes when updating...). Qt Creator up and added device configuration. Build, get a warning about spaces in paths and build bar goes red. Nothing happens. For some time. Change view to Compile Output and there's the typical error about missing path, path being cut at space. Great.

So there are two problems here, still: Symbian toolchains don't handle spaces in paths and Qt Creator can't even show errors in the Build Issues view when building for Symbian.

Hey, it's 2011. When will you guys understand that? It's NOT ok to install your stuff into the root folder. Not even if you can't make stuff work with spaces. Because the correct thing to do is fix it so that it does.

So now I have to save my Qt projects somewhere else than all other projects I do, just because Nokia can't get SDKs done right? That's sooo cool.

Oh well. Let's see if I can at least get the device connected to Qt Creator and get stuff in it. USB connected, drivers installing... And no, I will NOT install Ovi Suite to this machine!

CODA installed on device. Reboot. USB cable in, device says that debug services are available. Qt Creator won't show the device in project settings. I didn't expect anything else...

Setting Up Development Environment for Symbian has been read and done. But noo, naturally it won't work. So what's next? Maybe it won't work with CODA, you have to have App Trk? Though the documentation doesn't say so. Let's try that...

Nope. Not available in Qt Creator still...

Well, let's just make a SIS out of it and send it to the device without Qt Creator. But, how? Build, done. No SIS file. Deploy? No, that would require a connection to the device. Which I don't have. So...? I'm a total newbie with Qt Creator and it clearly isn't as simple as it could be. It seems that I have to create a new build step that runs make sis. Manual work is always great.

But that requires manual installation of Qt on the device. Not nice. So I have to use make installer_sis. Now I get a package that doesn't complain. Testing on device...

Installing... This'n'that... Error: device not supported. Oh really? Why not? E7 isn't supported? That's not going to help. Let's try installing the sis package from the SDK manually. As I said, I do like manual work when developing. It'd be much better for the end users, too, if they had to install Qt manually, don't you say?

Installing... Installation complete! So, yes, E7 is supported. Just not by the smart installer. Ok, this whole thing is beta (even by name, I think it will be beta quality for a long time still), maybe they'll fix it soon.

Try installing the smart version again. No go, not supported. Install without the "smart installer" and it went through. Not so smart after all.

But woohoo, it runs! So, all I have to do now is send the SIS file manually every time I build, since the connection from Qt Creator to the device won't work. And I can't use the "smart installer" since it won't work with an actual device.

So, anyone more familiar with Qt Creator and development who can tell me what I'm doing wrong? It must be me doing things wrong, it can't really be that these things don't work, can it?

Also as a side rant: why the heck hasn't Nokia implemented a better support for Symbian in Qt Creator? "Oh, you can use the testing UIDs when developing and when you want to send the app to Symbian Signed, you must remember to change the UID by hand to another value." Umm, hello? Isn't this supposed to be done by the IDE, not by the developer? Ah, sorry, forgot: manual work is fun. And not error prone.

And it's nice that compiling Qt application for Symbian causes hundreds of warnings. No, not a single one from my code. They're all from the Qt code! Developer 101 time: warnings are bad. You shouldn't get any when compiling. Even if they're "only" warnings. Clearly Nokia doesn't know this.

What the heck?!? When I copied the project to another location (because the Symbian SDK can't handle spaces), cleaned everything many times, but STILL the Qt Creator loads QML files from the wrong place! That is, when I double-click a file to open it in editor, it loads it from newpath\test.qml. When I build the app (for the simulator, at least), it loads it from oldpath\test.qml. Which obviously doesn't work. Separate path handling for project viewing and building? Hello? Idiots anyone? Sheesh!

Kommentoi

Me and Nokia E7

symbiatch - 16.03.2011 19.13 - IT-ala mobiili 

Ah, the day you've all been waiting for is here: I just got the Developer Gift E7 from Nokia! So now I can complain about all the nice things like I always do and Nokia can keep on not giving a damn. Especially since they're throwing Symbian away. Boohoo. But to the point...

(I'll probably update this as I go along, I've only poked around for a few minutes. And yes, I know that others have written about the device already. I haven't read them and I don't care: this is, after all, my blog and my experiences. I've used iPhone 4 for some months, before that iPhone 3G for two years, so my habits and experiences are mainly from there)

Ah, the start screen. Nice that I'm appreciated for choosing Nokia. Didn't really choose, but anywho :) Language, English please. I don't like Finnish in these things (Finnish people know what I'm talking about when I say akt.valm.til.sov.). Then waiting for ages for it to allow me to choose country. Loading something or other. Blah. Time/date, yeah.

Home screen and all the cool widgets. Not bad. Better looking than I thought. But let's try to get updates. Oh, can't since it won't ask me for wifi connection (no SIM inserted, offline mode). Oh well, I'll do it myself. No updates still. Maybe the 14.x is not available for Finnish devices?

Add email account. Warning about maybe sending info to Nokia. Hope you won't, I won't like it and you don't need my account info. Exchange info input, press next. The same screen stays on, no warning, no error. Umm, what? Let's try next again. Oh, now it asks for email server. And it's done. And finally Nokia understood that not all use domain field. Previous MfE required something in the domain field when using the wizard.

But crap. The email application is quite the same. Ugly, font is horrid (the same font as everywhere else. And it is horrid.) Oh well, maybe it works. Not going to test it yet.

Calendar, then. Nice, it's the same as Android: it only syncs the default calendar! What the crap? Hello, Nokia, this was supposed to be an E device. For Enterprises. And even if I'm not an Enterprise, I do use another calendar for school. Actually, I use two calendars for school. In addition to the default one for other things. So I can't use this for my daily stuff. Nice.

Also, I'm used to the nice and simple calendar view in my iPhone: the list. Ahh, Symbian used to be all about lists. Why isn't there a nice list view for the calendar, then? A list that shows all the items in a loooong list. But no. I certainly only need a list that shows one day at a time. It's so convenient to check e.g. what the next week will be like at school. Oh, I forgot. I couldn't do that anyway since it won't support more than one calendar from Exchange.

The nice Social application wants me to have an Ovi account. Doesn't say why, doesn't say if they'll rip off my account info or anything. I just must have one. What about a little clarification here, Nokia? Also, after I set up the ovi account info, there are no social networks to choose from. Nice. Others have had this problem too. They did appear later when I had inserted my SIM and rebooted the device thrice.

The Social application looks quite bad too. The font is one thing, it's too big and ugly (hey, I can only see ONE or maybe TWO updates per screen, that's nice!). The layout for the items is a bit off, too, many times. In landscape mode a third of the screen is used for title bar and buttons. Why? I do have quite big fingers but I certainly don't need that big buttons.

The Social widget, then. No, not going to use it. Shows parts of latest messages. Changes after a while. Shows "Update status" in between and whatnot. I don't need that. I only need an app that starts quickly and shows me the action. And there's only a status update box but where will it update it? To all networks added? I probably don't want that and I'm not going to test it. So a sub par thing this one too.

Wifi connection is very shaky when in offline mode. As it's always been. Nokia doesn't clearly understand that some people don't use the phone as a phone always. So I'll have to insert a SIM to get things working better. I seem to be getting a working network connection every other time, if I'm lucky. And still the phone shows that I'm continuously connected to the wifi. Strange...

Open SIM slot. "Phone will restart." Ok, fine, you shouldn't have to at this point since there isn't any SIM inserted so nothing changed (iPhone on the other hand just removes phone connection and restores it if you insert a SIM later). Insert SIM, "The phone will restart." Fine.

Phone starts and starts telling me, again, that it's nice I chose Nokia. In Finnish. Didn't I clearly tell it that I wanted English as my language previously? Yes, I did. But it chose Finnish since I inserted a Finnish SIM. What part of "no, no automatic language but English" didn't you understand? Okay, every part of it. Let's reboot the phone for the third time. (And after this I got Social to add networks)

Software update found Search update. Install. Takes a while but clearly does something. I think. Ok. Also some Microsoft communicator app, I don't need it so I won't install. But wait, there's one bug here... Info button is hidden if I select the second update. Deselect it and it's activated. And it shows the first app's details. What about the second? Can't get it to show that any way I click. Clearly a problem with this "click once/twice" shit that Nokia had with Symbian UI. You can get the details of the second one with long touch, though. But still a bug.

Ovi Store. Update needed. Umm, so, Software Update won't update Ovi Store for some reason? Ovi Store will update itself only? That's nice :P

Update installed, starting. Still the ugly (web based?) Ovi Store. That doesn't remember account even though I touched on "remember me." And the constant Unable to contact stores continue. And it's not my network since I'm using the same wifi network without problems on this laptop. Installation works when I happen not to get errors. But I don't want to be taken to my account page after I've selected an app to be installed (still it's better than iPhone's "I'll just take you away from the App Store completely so you can watch the app install)

The screen on the device is lot worse than I'd think. I do have the plastic cover on that is on by default (and I know it's supposed to be taken off, it's just a protection while packaged). The viewing angles are small, the white background changed to red-pinkish when tilting the device. I'm used to using my iPhone from whatever angle, so this is not nice.

Home screen widgets (the default ones at least) are mostly useless to me. CNN? BBC? E!? Reuters? Don't care. How do I remove them from the list? No option in the list itself. Blah!

Music player. Default four songs. That are updated when starting. This is what I don't like about Nokia. True, iPhone gets its database from iTunes sync and I can save songs to this phone from other sources, too. Anywho. I hope the search is faster than in the previous phones. But once again a stupid UI thing: a list of songs (I like this), I select one and I'm shown a coverflow-like menu of... the four songs?!? And I have to select again the one I already selected. What's the point? Nokia UX people to the rescue? (And they still try to get me to use their UX services when clearly they either a) don't use them themselves or b) they're crap).

Ah, almost forgot the browser! Let's start it up... Snappier than previously. Still doesn't seem that great. Oh, right. Multitouch. Zoom works quite nicely. The wifi problems still continue. Maybe it just doesn't like my 802.11n network (some other devices don't either, crappy D-Link station). Anywho. The loading bar is hidden, so I can't see if it's loading or not. And scrolling while loading is not working at least on bigger pages. Oh, sorry. Scrolling while loaded on larger pages is slow and jagged. Better than before, still. And there's still the browser update coming, someday, right?

Camera, then. First I thought it was broken, then I realized it had the plastic protector still on. Silly me :) But wait, no autofocus? Right, this is an E device. Maybe it'll suffice. At least the camera app shows how many pics/how much video I can record. Unlike the iPhone that caused me to miss a couple of things since the video was just stopped with the notification "not enough space".

Now if I only knew what to test next. mIRGGI probably needs a little test run and some other things too. But I'm surely not going to switch from my iPhone to this soon. If the email and calendar apps were done right, I might even think about it. But now it's impossible.

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WP7-kehitystä oppimassa? / Learning WP7 Development?

symbiatch - 25.02.2011 16.02 - mobiili ohjelmointi 

Kiinnostaako Windows Phone 7 -kehitys? Saanen suositella ilmaista Charles Petzoldin Programming Windows Phone 7 -kirjaa. En ole itse vielä sitä lukenut, mutta tuntien Petzoldin maineen voisin väittää, että kirja on hyvä.

Interested in learning Windosw Phone 7 development? May I suggest grabbing a free copy of Charles Petzold's Programming Windows Phone 7. I haven't read it myself yet, but knowing Petzold's reputation I'd say it's probably a very good read.

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What About SYMBEOSE

symbiatch - 20.02.2011 14.53 - mobiili 

In November there were news about Symbian getting millions of euros from EC. The reason was to get European software technology to flourish and whatnot. SYMBEOSE and stuff. Great. But it didn't take long for Nokia to tell us that Symbian is going to be put out.

What happens/happened to this money? Did they get it? Is it used to develop Symbian, an OS that is soon not used by anyone? Or some esoteric fork of it? I personally couldn't find any information about this and would like to know what's going on.

When Nokia changed Symbian Foundation from a development foundation to a licensing body and took Symbian to itself, the money should've been retracted. If it wasn't, the EC just gave a single company millions of euros for the development of a in-house product. And a product that is going to be killed soon.

There's no reason to give them that money now. The money should be used for SMBs doing something productive. I hope that's the case. Or at least the money has been taken back (if it was ever given to Nokia/Symbian).

If anyone has any information about this, please tell me!

Kommentoi

Symbian Signed vs Apple/Microsoft Software Releasing

symbiatch - 16.02.2011 13.45 - mobiili ohjelmointi 

I got a comment about endorsing a platform that controls the software that is installed on the device, especially since I've complained a lot about Symbian Signed. I thought I might explain my reasons for this a bit.

History of Symbian

Before Symbian Signed things were nice on the Symbian front. You could make apps using all APIs and distribute them the way you liked. No restrictions. Fine. But then came the horrid Symbian Signed and Capabilities. Good idea, implementation sucked.

Capabilities

The main problems with capabilities were that you could only get certain ones without paying and if you didn't pay, the user got a reminder claiming that the application might steal your personal information and whatnot. So scary tactics to force people into Symbian Signed.

Also, the capabilities had to be given up front which was idiotic. And there was no possibility to select which capabilities you allowed the application to have. Yes, I allow the app to read my contacts. No, I don't want it to get my location. Umm, ok, I can't install the whole app? Nice...

Also the capabilities were too coarse. For example, my mIRGGI needs network access, which is fine for most people. But when installing S60 shows that mIRGGI can also make calls. Most people probably don't want that to happen (and it won't, mIRGGI has NO functions that could make calls). But they can't tell that to the OS. Stupid.

Symbian Signed

The first version of Symbian Signed was horrible. First you had to get a developer id which means spending $200/year for a code signing certificate from a single provider. This was easy, but cost quite a bit, especially for freeware developers.

Then if you wanted to get your apps to the public, you had to pay for "testing." And I put it into quotes because it wasn't really always testing rather than nitpicking. There were cases where the application showed a version number incorrectly (1.2.3 instead of required 1.02.3 or something) and the testing failed! And when you fixed that you had to pay for retesting.

Also the payment was for each and every version. Make an app, sell it to 100 people. Make an update, pay again but you might not get any more purchases. Make another update and so on. So you're paying and getting nothing in return. Why would companies want to fix or update their product often when all it meant was money lost? (I know this isn't always so harsh, but still)

Discount Testing

Then Symbian Signed was transformed so that you could test the stuff yourself. All you had to do was pay $20 per shot for a quick signing. $20 for signing? That's a lot. Once again, every little fix or update you made cost you that much. Better, but still not reasonable.

There was also for a limited time a freeware testing thingy where you could get some freeware apps signed for free. But they didn't like it if you released too many versions too soon etc. And later on it died off.

The last try was to make the whole Symbian Signed free for Symbian/Qt/Java apps. That's when the system started to look like a reasonable thing to do.

The whole time the explanation for this was to make sure that the origin of the application could be determined. And the whole time there were certificates available for Java, Windows applications etc which did the same. The difference? You could sign your code yourself. Without paying for "testing."

Apple Developer Program

Apple started the whole thing with a commercial developer program. You pay $99/year and you get the tools, testing (and they even do test, even though I've got some "it doesn't work", "surely it does, I've tested it a lot", "oh, sorry, yes it does" problems once) and distribution for that price. Fixed price. And that's the key difference here.

You can also distribute ad hoc applications, which means that you input the device IDs for a maximum of 100 devices and sign the application for those with a certificate that you get from Apple. Usually done for testing purposes.

Larger companies can also get a system that allows them to distribute apps for their employees freely, but that requires a 500 employee enterprise IIRC.

And what about capabilities? For example, when running a program that wants to get your location, you're asked if it's ok. When running, not when installing. And you can allow/disallow this whenever you want to. The same with notifications etc. This is the right way to go!

Windows Phone Developer Program

To develop for Windows Phone 7 you can get the tools for free. But if you want to distribute, you'll pay $99/year. And no hidden/extra costs here either.

Microsoft also has stated (after the jailbreak thingy) that they're looking into allowing the installation of applications on the devices without paying or going through the marketplace. And I also hope that they really make it possible. And I hope they won't make stupid restrictions for the applications.

I have no knowledge about how capabilities are done in WP7, I've only seen them declared in the application XML file. Must see into this.

Conclusions

WP7 development is more restrictive than Symbian/Maemo/Meego, that's for sure. At least for now. But Symbian's capabilities and track record with the whole Signed crap is not at all good. And I personally rather pay $99/year for development environment that actually works than kill my sanity with a free one that doesn't. I did pay Apple's fees for a couple of years before I made a cent on anything iOS. Just because I wanted to learn it and the environment was only half-crap (XCode, Interface Builder etc are horrible but not nearly as bad as Carbide.c++ etc). And I'll surely pay for Microsoft/Nokia the yearly fee to make apps for WP7 even if they're freeware. I can afford it and I know what I'm getting in return.

Now just waiting for Microsoft's move on the 3rd party app installation front. I don't thing it'll happen on the next update (which is due out very soon), but maybe later? And since Nokia won't get any devices out for a while, it can wait a bit.

But I don't want to wait, maybe Microsoft could update the Silverlight they already have for Symbian. Then we could create apps for Symbian and WP7 with it. That would be cool. Qt for Symbian/Maemo/Meego and Silverlight for Symbian/WP7. And surely Moonlight could be used for Maemo/Meego too, so we could get a truely universal platform? ;)

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"Ei WP7-kehittäjiä Suomessa" / "No WP7 Developers In Finland"

symbiatch - 13.02.2011 15.17 - IT-ala mobiili ohjelmointi 

Nokian WP7-julkistusta seuranneessa hölinässä on tullut useammankin kerran esille huoli suomalaisesta ohjelmistotuotannosta. Symbian ja Qt kun selvästikin olivat vahvasti täällä osattuna, mutta kukaan ei kuulemma tee WP7-kehitystä. Mielenkiintoinen väite, mutta asiaa voi tarkastella hieman järkevämminkin. Meinaan kauanko menee, että on?

Symbianin oppimiskäyrä on aina ollut hyvin jyrkkä. Sitä on yritetty laskea tuomalla ties mitä virityksiä avuksi, mutta apua ei ole ollut. Viimeisin repäisy oli Qt. Se ostettiin kolme vuotta sitten Nokialle. Kolme vuotta. Ja siinä ajassa ei ole vieläkään saatu kaikkea tehtyä, vaikka luvattiin jo kaksi vuotta sitten tulevaksi.

Ei kuitenkaan takerruta siihen, vaan tarkastellaan Qt-kehitystä. Qt on vähäisellä kokemuksellani ja muiden kertomuksia lukeneena reippaasti parempi kuin Symbian. Se ei ole vaikeaa. Mutta kehittäjät ovat yleensä olleet muita kuin mobiilikehittäjiä. Ja jos kehitetään mobiiliin, pitää tehdä käyttöliittymät eri tavalla, mobility API pitäisi saada käyttöön jne jne jne. Eli opettelemista on. Mutta taustalla kuitenkin jotain osaamista.

Qt ratkaisee sitten Maemo/Meego-kehityksenkin. Kunhan siis teet todennäköisesti uudet käyttöliittymät jne. Mutta silti se Qt pitää opetella. Henkilökohtaisesti en ole edes törmännyt moneenkaan taloon, jotka tekevät kehitystä Qt:lla. Mutta kai niitä on, kun kerran nettikommentoijat niin sanovat. Minähän uskon.

Entäs se WP7? Moniko oikeasti tietää millä sille kehitetään sovelluksia? Tätä lukevista ehkä useakin, mutta yleisesti nettikommentoijista hyvin harva. Voin sen tässä paljastaa, kera selityksen miksi ei ole ongelma, vaikka juuri tällä sekunnilla ei olisikaan montaa WP7-kehittäjää.

Jos haluat kehittää OEM:nä WP7-sovelluksia (kuten vaikka Nokia haluaa, esimerkiksi Ovi Mapsin jne), sitä ei tehdä millään ihmeellisellä WP7-APIlla. Alustana WP7:ssa on Windows CE, jota ohjelmoidaan Win32APIn kautta. Kyllä, se sama Win32API, jota on käytetty jo yli 15 vuotta työpöytäsovellusten tekemiseen. Moniko Suomessa ohjelmoi sillä? Moni.

Jos haluat tehdä muuten sovelluksia WP7:lle, kehitysalusta on Silverlight for Windows Phone. Se on alijoukko itse Silverlightin ominaisuuksista lisättynä tietysti mobiiliominaisuuksilla. Moniko täällä on tehnyt Silverlightille jotain? Ei välttämättä kauhean moni, mutta se ei ole ongelma. Miksikö? Koska Silverlight taas on alijoukko .NETistä, mukaanlukien WPF, WCF jne. Moniko ohjelmoi .NETillä? Aika hiton moni. Moniko tekee käyttöliittymät WPF:llä? Yhä kasvava joukko. Moniko käyttää WCF:ää juttelemaan bisneslogiikoille ja servereille? Hyvin moni.

Entäs pelit? Niitä voi sitten tehdä XNA:lla, joka on myös .NET-ympäristö ja jolla voi tehdä pelejä niin työpöydälle, Xboxille kuin kännyynkin. Moniko tätä täällä osaa? Ei varmasti niin moni, mutta eipä ole pelintekijöitäkään. Ja pelintekijöistä moni.

Eli kysymys kuuluukin: moniko suomalainen voisi olla WP7-kehittäjä ensi viikolla? Aika hiton moni. Moniko Qt/Symbian-kehittäjä voisi opiskella WP7-kehityksen? Kaikki varmasti. Eikä vaatisi edes kauheita ponnisteluja.

Joten itse en todellakaan näe ongelmaa siinä, että "Suomessa ei ole WP7-kehittäjiä." Koska Windows-kehittäjiä on ja paljon. Ja se riittää.

Ja vielä yksi asia: Symbian ei katoa huomenna. Eikä ensi kuussa. Eikä ensi vuonna. Ei kannata huolestua nyt niin kauheasti.

Nokia's decision to use WP7 in their devices has gotten several people to declar their concern about Finnish software development. Symbian and Qt development seem to be quite strongly available here, but seems that nobody is doing any WP7 development. Interesting claim but the situation can be appraised more rationally. Meaning: how long will it take for there to be developers?

The learning curve for Symbian has always been very steep. They've tried to lower it with this'n'that-kinda stuff many times, but to no avail. The latest attempt was Qt. It was bought three years ago. Three years. And it still isn't what it was supposed to be two years ago.

I won't get caught on that but rather consider Qt development. With my little experience and by reading things from other developers Qt is a lot better than Symbian. But that's not saying much. Qt developers, on the other hand, have been something else than mobile developers. And if you are doing mobile development, the UIs have to be done differently, mobility API should be usable etc etc. So there's a lot to learn. But there's still much knowledge about Qt to be used.

Qt solves the problem for Maemo/Meego, as long as you (probably) create the separate UIs etc. But you still have to learn Qt. I haven't met that many companies doing Qt but there must be lots of them since people on the net are saying so. And of course I believe them.

What about WP7 then? How many people really know what is used to develop for it? From those reading this I guess several, but for the laypeople probably not many. I can reveal it for all with an explanation why there is no problem with there not being any WP7 developers at this second.

If you want to develop OEM software for WP7 (as I suspect Nokia will want to, Ovi Maps etc) you don't use any esoteric WP7 API. WP7 runs on Windows CE which uses Win32API for development. Yes, the same Win32API that has been used for over 15 years in desktop development. How many people in Finland are using Win32API? Many.

If you want to develop other applications for WP7 you use Silverlight for Windows Phone. It's a subset of the actual Silverlight plus mobile APIs. How many people in Finland have done Silverlight development? Probably not that many but even that's not a problem. Because Silverlight itself is a subset of .NET including WPF, WCF etc. How many people develop with .NET? Lots of people. How many people are using WPF for the UIs? Ever growing. How many use WCF when talking to business logic and servers? Many.

Games, then. That's where XNA comes in. It's also a .NET environment that can be used to develop games for desktop, Xbox and mobile devices. How many have experience about it here? I don't suppose that many, but there aren't that many gamemakers. Of them I suspect very many know it.

So the real question is: how many Finnish developers could be WP7 developers next week? Very damn many. How many Qt/Symbian developers could learn WP7 development? Everyone I'm sure. And it wouldn't even take that much work.

That's why I don't see any problem with there "not being any WP7 developers in Finland." Because there are lots of Windows developers. And that's enough.

Oh, and another thing: Symbian isn't going away tomorrow. Not even next month. And not next year. Don't worry so much.

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Nokia + Windows Phone 7

symbiatch - 11.02.2011 13.04 - mobiili ohjelmointi 

Ah, it finally happened. I didn't think it would, but I was wrong. Nokia is taking on Windows Phone 7. Great! Finally they'll have a working platform with great development tools!

There are millions of people that are probably yelling NOOOO! at the moment. Shut up, I tell them. If you have some anti-Microsoft thing, it's your problem. If you'd just take your head out of your nether regions, you'd understand that Nokia has been so bad for developers, their UIs have been crap and they can't even make a decent browser in several years. Not even if they have WebKit and others available.

I would've thought that Nokia would've possibly made a new UI for the phones (not a good thing, taking account their track record), or at least gotten Qt to work in it. But no, they're keeping Qt for Symbian, Meego etc.

What about Symbian? They say they won't throw it out, yet. But they aren't telling us what it will be used for. And Meego? They'll release "a device", but what? I think Meego probably will work for tablets etc, but there's no point in making another UI for phones. Since that's what it would be.

I'm very interested to see what happens next. When will the first phone come out, what will Nokia's hardware knowledge bring to the table.

And for those that are saying "Microsoft is taking over Nokia." The whole point for taking on Elop was to get Nokia to go to another direction. It's been going downhill for so long. Why can't you just accept the fact that maybe, just maybe, a partnership (not a takeover) with Microsoft is exactly what they need?

Also, how many of the people whining about Windows Phone 7 have actually used it? Developed for it? I personally have not held a device in my hand. But I have developed some test applications for it. And I can say that in the time that it took me to make a mockup version of Telkussa Mobile for Windows Phone 7 was 15 minutes. No previous knowledge about WP7 development (and not much about WPF development either). It's just so simple to do things and the development tools actually work!

I've done the application for Android too, to some extent. Most of the time went to fighting with Eclipse and ADT (they're quite unstable, also some x86/x64 stuff etc). I did get it done, but it's slooooooow. Horribly so. Since there is lots of data handling when loading TV guide data in the beginning.

I'd like to do it for Symbian, Qt, Qt Quick too. But I'd kinda in need of a minor braindamage (major in case of Symbian). The development tools are alien to me and don't seem as mature as I'd like them to be. In case of Symbian, Carbide.c++ is crap. Even after years of development. Qt Creator is probably less crap, but it's complicated. It took me a while to even find out how to change the target of compilation. Could be just my inability, but still. And also, the applications that are produced by Qt look different on the devices. Not nice to use that kind of a platform.

The only platform that actually has that application out in the wild is iOS. It took me quite a while to get it done, since XCode is horrible and iOS APIs were alien to me. They're not horrible, but it takes a while to get into a platform, know how to use iOS's memory handling (quite awful), threads etc etc. But it's much less horrible than Symbian. Android, I'm not sure. I don't have enough experience about it. But the XML crap UIs don't tickle my fancy, at all. WPF/Silverlight did it right since you don't need any getControlById() and casting etc that you need with Android.

So, I'm intrigued. Very much so. If Nokia needs a developer for WP7 stuff, I'm interested. You didn't get me to work for you previously, but now you can call me ;)

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Android + Exchange, Not Quite And Other Things

symbiatch - 10.02.2011 17.50 - mobiili 

Finally tried Android 2.2's Email program with Exchange. I can tell you, it's not quite ready for real world use. Or maybe I have some strange crippled version? If so, do tell me.

I also have to mention that I hate the fact that I have to have a Gmail account. I don't want it. I don't use it. But I must have one to use Market or anything. Shitty. And I can't even change my primary email account to anything else! Lock-in anyone?

Where is the backup application? Oh, Android doesn't have one? The only thing I can do is allow some of my information to be sent to Google and it'll get downloaded from there? Nice. With other manufacturers I can create a private backup. Not with Android. And even the cool online backup doesn't work. Installed applications, upgraded the OS, logged back in. Google says I'll get the apps back soon. Not the case. I have to install everything again. Nice. Cool. Wonderful!

But to the Exchange stuff. First of all, it has a stupid bug that Nokia also had previously: when syncing lots of mails, it'll keep making noises telling me there's new email. Stupid.

So, I can only sync stuff for one month? Whose braindamaged idea is this? I want ALL my email here. All. If I want to. But it seems Google knows better.

There's an option Sync Calendars. Select it. Well, nothing's visible. Oh, right. It didn't ask me which calendars I want to sync. Now, where's the option... Oh, nowhere? Right. So when I have several calendars, I can't sync them. Nice.

At least Sync Contacts works. But can I sync contacts so that it won't send them to Google, since it basically forces me to use Gmail too? I'm not sure. Hope so.

So, all in all. Not quite there. Couldn't use this crap in my daily life. Maybe it'll be all better in 2.3 or 3.0 or...

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